My 17 year old brother is coming to live with me...Can anyone give me tips?

Jack-Katie - posted on 01/09/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am in my early to mid 20's and my 17 year old brother is coming to live with me unexpectedly. I have a 5 year old special needs step son that we have just won full custody of, a 2 year old son, and a 11 month old daughter. I have no idea how to take care of a 17 year old boy! How strict or how lax to be. What boundaries to set? ect. Any advice or tips would be most welcome! (He's coming to me because of issues with my mother and not wanting to be with her anymore- my other brother and I both left early for the same reasoning and my other brother is taking care of our dying grandma since our mom wouldn't so he can't take in our little brother just in case you were wondering). Please give me any tips or advice you have! I want to be able to set clear boundaries and roles and I think he is going to have a hard time separating a child/guardian role with me versus a brother/sister level.

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Julie - posted on 01/11/2013

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Teach him, don't tell him what to do in gaining life skills. Yes to the Boundaries. They not only protect him, but you and the relationship. Sounds like he needs to be the "manny" while he is there to "earn his keep" Make it a win-win for both of you in what sounds like a challenging time. Work together as a family and have FUN

Britnie - posted on 01/10/2013

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Hello, I am 26, so I think I can somewhat relate. My stepson is 14. Not exactly the same but almost. Ok. First, You have got to say to yourself and him, that you are his "guardian first and his friend/sister secondly. He's seventeen. Yes he can make is own choices clearly, but youre going to be the one who's responsible for him. If he breaks a curfew or any other rule, be firm in your decision and don't feel bad cause he's your brother. Stick to your convictions. It will pay off. You've got to think of your children first. They are most important. He's almost grown and can make right and wrong decisions which will either get praised or disciplined. As long as he's under your roof, he's got to respect you and your husbands decisions. I don't know if it applies to him or not, but for example : you have small children. If he curses infront of him and you don't want it said infront of your kids, you have a right and a responsibility to confront him with it and get respected at the same time. I hope this helped. Have a good night and god bless.

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